Philosophy departments flourish through both concentration and expansion of intellectual interests. Our general policy is to combine individual specialization with departmental comprehensiveness and branch out as much as possible so as to achieve a full representation of the different areas of philosophy. To that end, our department joins analytic and continental viewpoints as well as historically and scientifically-minded approaches. Consequently, the department can provide its students the opportunity to learn about a variety of philosophical issues, approaches, methods, positions in sufficient depth and breadth; and, furthermore, due to our "polychromatic" departmental composition, our department is represented in a wide range of national and international philosophical conferences on various topics.
Detailed information about our department members can be found in the faculty members page.
Undergrad and Grad Programs: Some of our BA students do "double major", hence acquiring a significant background to work in different areas. For students who wish to go on to graduate work in philosophy, B. Ü. Philosophy Department offers several MA taught course programs, as well as more advanced research facilities leading to a PhD degree.
A considerable number of our graduates (BA and MAs) are now continuing their doctoral education at prestigious institutions all around the world. Moreover, some of our graduates are now PhD's who are currently teaching in national or international universities. Check out our "Pride List" displaying how some of the graduates of Bogaziçi Philosophy Department have successfully continued their academic journey.
If you wish to learn more about the Double Major program, the courses to be taken for a BA degree, etc., please visit our Undergraduate Program page. You can read the MA and PhD program guides in the Grad Program page. (The education language throughout the university is English.) Information on "How to write philosophy papers", "How to apply to universities abroad", "How to publish articles," etc., as well as various links to philosophy departments all around the world and to indexed philosophy journals can be found in our Useful Info pages.
Our department also carries out the editorial duties of the journal Felsefe Tartismalari: A Turkish Journal of Philosophy, which is the first Turkish philosophy journal listed in the Philosopher's Index. The journal's web site is http://www.ft.boun.edu.tr.
Philosophy involves a critical examination of our most fundamental beliefs about truth and reality, right and wrong. It challenges many of our assumptions about what we know and how we should live. It is concerned with how different views of the world clash or fit together, and with how far different perspectives (moral, scientific, religious, metaphysical, personal) may be reconciled. Like the great majority of university disciplines, philosophy is not a directly vocational subject. Instead it gives you the opportunity - perhaps the only chance many people will have in their lives - for extended reflection on and discussion of "life, the universe, and everything".
Broadly construed, philosophy began by attempting to answer two deceptively simple questions: "What can we know?" and "How should we live our lives?" These questions in turn gave rise to others: Can we ever have absolutely certain knowledge? What constitutes a good reason for believing something? What is knowledge? Must we always have evidence in order to know? What constitutes conclusive evidence? Are there things about the world that are in principle impossible to know? Can we ever know exactly what someone else is thinking or feeling? Are mind and body distinct? Are people ever really free? Is there a God? Do numbers exist? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Why should we obey the law? Under what conditions is it right to restrict a person's liberty? Is capital punishment immoral? Do trees have rights? How can moral disagreements be rationally settled? Which takes precedence over the other, the Right or the Good? What is truth? Is the sentence "This sentence is false" true or false?
Over the centuries, questions such as these have given rise to the main great subdisciplines within philosophy, including Epistemology (theory of knowledge), Metaphysics (theory of being), Logic (theory of reason and of inference), Value Theory (including ethics, politics and aesthetics), and History of Philosophy. Our department covers these areas both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
As mentioned above, our natural curiosity and desire to know constitutes an impetus for philosophical thinking. Another important reason people study philosophy is that many of the skills and abilities that are learned in philosophy are transferable, not just to other academic disciplines, but to other endeavors as well. This is partly because philosophy touches on so many other subjects, and partly because its methods are widely applicable to other areas of intellectual accomplishment. Communication skills, critical reasoning skills, and general problem-solving skills are all enhanced by work in philosophy. They are also essential to many other disciplines and projects. In addition, philosophy helps students develop sound methods of research and analysis. By its nature, philosophy also helps students to organize and unify information that they may have learned only in a piecemeal way in other courses.
The ability to think clearly, to reason logically, to expound and evaluate arguments, to reject facile assumptions and search for coherent principles of thought and action - no student of philosophy leaves their study of the subject without having picked up these valuable skills.